Dummy up. If it's not reported, if it's not news, it didn't happen.
Wax indignant. This is also known as the "How dare you?" gambit.
Characterize the charges as "rumors" or, better yet, "wild rumors." If,
in spite of the news blackout, the public is still able to learn about the
suspicious facts, it can only be through "rumors." (If they tend to believe
the "rumors" it must be because they are simply "paranoid" or "hysterical.")
Knock down straw men. Deal only with the weakest aspects of the weakest
charges. Even better, create your own straw men. Make up wild rumors (or
plant false stories) and give them lead play when you appear to debunk all
the charges, real and fanciful alike.
Call the skeptics names like "conspiracy theorist," "nutcase," "ranter,"
"kook," "crackpot," and, of course, "rumor monger." Be sure, too, to use
heavily loaded verbs and adjectives when characterizing their charges and
defending the "more reasonable" government and its defenders. You must then
carefully avoid fair and open debate with any of the people you have thus
maligned. For insurance, set up your own "skeptics" to shoot down.
Impugn motives. Attempt to marginalize the critics by suggesting
strongly that they are not really interested in the truth but are simply
pursuing a partisan political agenda or are out to make money (compared to
over-compensated adherents to the government line who, presumably, are not).
Invoke authority. Here the controlled press and the sham opposition can
be very useful.
Dismiss the charges as "old news."
Come half-clean. This is also known as "confession and avoidance" or
"taking the limited hangout route." This way, you create the impression of
candor and honesty while you admit only to relatively harmless,
less-than-criminal "mistakes." This stratagem often requires the embrace of
a fall-back position quite different from the one originally taken. With
effective damage control, the fall-back position need only be peddled by
stooge skeptics to carefully limited markets.
Characterize the crimes as impossibly complex and the truth as
Reason backward, using the deductive method with a vengeance. With
thoroughly rigorous deduction, troublesome evidence is irrelevant. E.g. We
have a completely free press. If evidence exists that the Vince Foster
"suicide" note was forged, they would have reported it. They haven't
reported it so there is no such evidence. Another variation on this theme
involves the likelihood of a conspiracy leaker and a press who would report
Require the skeptics to solve the crime completely. E.g. If Foster was
murdered, who did it and why?
Change the subject. This technique includes creating and/or
Lightly report incriminating facts, and then make nothing of them.
This is sometimes referred to as "bump and run" reporting.
Baldly and brazenly lie. A favorite way of doing this is to attribute
the "facts" furnished the public to a plausible-sounding, but anonymous,